You may have heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking.” This expression comes from several studies that suggest a sedentary lifestyle may be worse than smoking for some people. While the idea of comparing sitting to smoking may be difficult to understand, the risks associated with sitting for long periods are difficult to ignore.
A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to:
- Increased risk of disability
- Increased risk of developing chronic health problems, like diabetes and heart disease
- Negative effects on mental health
- Higher risk of becoming overweight or obese
- Shorter life expectancy
- Greater risk of falling
The best way to avoid many of the health risks associated with too much sitting is to become active. If you’ve lived a sedentary lifestyle for a long time, it can be overwhelming to think about starting a new exercise program.
You may have reasons why you feel discouraged about exercising, including health problems, limited mobility, or aches and pains. However, becoming active is far simpler than you anticipate. Here are a few ways seniors can incorporate more physical activity into their daily routine.
Physical Activities for Seniors
- Walking: Walking is an excellent exercise for older adults. It has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including a reduced risk of falling, a lower chance of a heart attack, and improved mental health. Even better, it only requires a pair of good walking shoes. A brisk ten-minute walk after each meal is a great place to start.
- Swimming: Swimming is great for seniors because it is a low-impact exercise. This means it is easier on the body than other forms of exercise. This makes swimming particularly great for seniors with limited mobility or stiff joints.
- Yoga: Yoga is another great activity for seniors. It improves strength, endurance, and mobility, which are essential for older adults. One of the best things about yoga is it can be adapted for any skill level.
- Tai Chi: Tai Chi is an exercise that combines slow, graceful movements with breath control. Because it is gentle, it is an excellent option for seniors who are just starting to incorporate exercise into their routine.
- Senior fitness classes: Taking classes designed for seniors is another way older adults can get active. There are a wide variety of options to suit every need, interest, and fitness level. For example, Zumba is fun for those who like to dance. Strength training classes may be better for those who want to build muscle.
The Benefits of Exercise Extend beyond Prevention
Regardless of your age, it’s never too late to start exercising. Getting fit isn’t just about preventing chronic illnesses. Exercise comes with many benefits, including improved sleep, a faster metabolism, and better physical and mental health.
Heritage Senior Communities Encourages an Active Lifestyle
In addition to assisting seniors with the tasks of daily living, Heritage Senior Communities also provides plenty of opportunities for seniors to be active. Contact us today to schedule a tour.